ALSWA Submission to the House Standing Committee on Family, Community, Housing and Youth – August 2009

Housing is a human right which is interconnected with a person’s standard of living and enjoyment of life. It is important that international instruments which refer to these rights are entrenched in the underlying principles of any legislation about homelessness. Homelessness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia is complex and diverse and raises special issues that are not applicable to mainstream homelessness. In this regard, it is important that specific measures to consider and address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander homelessness be developed and are specifically referred to in the legislation.

In this submission, ALSWA recommends that an independent housing advocacy body solely for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is promptly created so that expert advice and consideration of the special needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can properly occur, in consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. ALSWA also recommends that steps be taken to recognise cultural differences and provide culturally appropriate supports for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Homelessness Inquiry CWTH.pdf (1.17Mb)